St. James’s Place (SJP) and FE have had a long-standing relationship. SJP has been using FE solutions ranging from the FE Precision+ suite on the corporate side to the extensive use of FE Analytics by the Partners in their day to day operations.
Given SJPs ongoing commitment to provide a better and improved service to their Partners, the move to the new FE Precision+ Digital service was an opportunity to add value to their Partners and clients by providing new features, access to much more fund information, an interactive user experience and a smartphone/tablet friendly design.
SJP is a FTSE 100 company, providing wealth management services to a wide range of clients, with just over £90bn of client funds under management.
As strategic partners, FE and SJP have enjoyed a close working relationship for more than a decade. SJP has integrated a number of services from FE including FE Analytics, FE FinXL, FE Precision+ Datafeeds and several others.
From a bespoke digital solution that FE provided to SJP, the decision was made to upgrade to Precision+ Digital, which offered several improvements over the incumbent version, the main one being an enhanced user experience for the Partners.
Phillip Bunton, an investment consultant responsible for providing technical support to the company’s Partners, explains their thinking:
“The previous version showed fund prices and performance. We had access to a charting tool, but the initial landing page was fairly simple – a link to a fund fact sheet, where you could see the price. It worked well and the partners liked it, but we wanted to display and publish more information on each fund using more dynamic and responsive tools. We also wanted to make that information available on our website, not just the intranet, so our clients could use it as well as our partners.”
Moving to FE Precision+ Digital
The move to the new FE Precision+ Digital took only eight weeks, with the solution going live in October 2017.
Hannah Street, investment analyst at SJP, was heavily involved in the project. She described the experience of working with FE as very positive, with FE reacting quickly to adapt to SJP’s requirements and functionality requests as the project progressed.
While it is early days, several definite benefits over the previous version have been noted.
An interactive approach means that partners and clients can access much more fund detail without having to go into individual fact sheets. This makes the information much more transparent and clients can get a better idea of what the funds look like.
“We hadn’t offered this kind of functionality before; this kind of information wasn’t readily available on our corporate website for clients to look up,” says Hannah.
All the fund information is in one place now – even for international funds, so it is much easier to find the information required.
New features such as the charting tools, risk/return scatter charts and comparison reports have also proved very useful.
Improved user experience
Not only do partners and clients benefit from more information, but that information is presented in a much more accessible way.
“The aesthetics are much better than in our previous version,” says Phillip. “When you land on a page, it is clearer to look at and more user-friendly. So that’s good.”
Responsive design for smartphones and tablets
FE Precision+ Digital incorporates the responsive design that clients expect when they are looking up information on their smartphone or tablet. The responsive features and usability on smartphones and tablets will be appreciated in the future as more and more partners access the tool on the go.
Says Phillip: “It is important that we have made that transition now. With more partners and clients accessing our fund information on phones and tablets, this is a necessity for where we’re going. That’s when the real value will be recognised.”
FE Precision+ Digital ensured that SJP’s branding and colours were seamlessly integrated onto the system, providing interesting ways of displaying data on their website.
Close relationship with FE
The close working relationship with FE’s team has helped with the quick resolution of any issues that have cropped up. Says Phillip:
“We now have a tool that was developed quickly to meet the needs of our partners. Having the flexibility to work with FE to manipulate and customise the tool to meet our specific needs is very useful for us. And FE’s tools are constantly evolving so we can be confident that the solution remains up to date.”
The move to FE Precision+ Digital has been a very positive experience for SJP. Although the Partners are still just using a fraction of the tool’s capabilities, given it is still early days, the company expects them to exploit the solution to its full potential as they become more familiar with it.